The four Rochester Hy-Vee stores will share a special award for their collective effort to improve the health of local residents.
The stores were presented Tuesday with the Lyle Weed Public Health Champion Award by Olmsted County Public Health Services. The award, named for distinguished scientist, educator and doctor Lyle Weed, “recognizes, honors and thanks citizens and community groups whose service and activities have improved and strengthened the lives of our residents and visitors.”
Weed, who studied medicine at the University of Iowa, was head of microbiology at the Mayo Clinic from 1960 to 1968. He died in 1983 and was deeply involved in matters of public health.
According to award judges, the four Hy-Vee stores have “shown to be a great public health champion in the innovative programs and services they provide to our residents. Hy-Vee provided tobacco cessation programs to their employees and spouses and also implemented mother’s rooms at most of their Rochester locations that can be used for both employees and visitors.”
Most recently, the stores teamed with Channel One Regional Food Bank and Food Shelf to provide fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products for the hungry and have sponsored several in-store and community health events.
“They are thinking outside the walls of Hy-Vee and making important partnerships to provide health and wellness resources to all,” the judges said.
In his congratulatory letter, Pete Giesen, director of Olmsted County Public Health Services, told store directors Ron Pickel (Rochester No. 1), Chad Thacker (Rochester No. 2), Melissa Draheim (Rochester No. 3), Chad Hartogh (Rochester No. 4), that “Olmsted County is fortunate to have people and organizations like you who are making our community a healthier place to live.”
Tuesday’s award ceremony was timed to celebrate National Public Health Week.